The Fish went ahead and took advantage of this new beginning by opening up their offense with a revamped starting lineup and a new approach to their offensive strategy. The team recorded 12 hits and 12 runs versus the Washington Nationals on Monday afternoon and came out batting right from the get-go.
The highlights included four home runs, one of which was "inside the park," and an onslaught of small ball tactics which consistently put the Marlins in scoring position. Emilio Bonafacio couple with Hanley Ramirez contributed 2 HRs and 7 RBIs as well as 3 stolen bases. It was the Bonifacio-Ramirez show and the fans recognized them with well-deserved curtain calls.
Besides all the basic news coverage and statistics, I want to touch upon a few points that I find important to the Marlins' Opening Day victory.
As a Marlins fan, one must look at that game and feel excited about the potential the team has, despite the fact that Washington is no "shining star." Emilio Bonifacio seems like the prospect he has been painted out to be. Three stolen bases in an opening game is a bold way to show the fans one thing - "I am here to play." He showcased his freakish speed with the "inside the park" HR and wowed the crowd from the first pitch. It seems like the Marlins have equipped themselves with a secret weapon that has added a new dimension to the line up and a much-needed lead off batter.
Hanley Ramirez did not disappoint with his Grand Slam in the 6th inning. It just goes to show that he's no one hit wonder, rather a solid athlete equal to the likes of Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes. The man has taken the role of "Star Player" and solidified his franchise status with the Marlins organization. To anyone who picked up Hanley on their fantasy baseball team, congratulations, enjoy the ride because he will bring thrills night in and night out.
Overall, the Marlins gave the fans a glimpse of hope and a spark of excitement on day one of this 162-game long journey. The defense may not have been completely corrected, but the offense is back with a vengeance. Not to mention, the Fish have a healthy pitching staff now and can look forward to a more consistent performance on a daily basis.
It's time to prove the everyday doubters wrong. The one's that say the Marlins are a first-half team and nothing more. The one's that dismiss the team as "too young" and "too inexperienced."
To the next 161 games - Lace up those cleats and tighten those gloves because Miami is officially a Big League City.